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PBS Standards


PBS strives to contribute to informed debate by presenting, over time, content that addresses a broad range of ideas, information, and perspectives. Inclusiveness means that content should reflect the views of people from different backgrounds, such as geographic areas, ethnicities, genders, age groups, religious beliefs, political viewpoints, and income levels. 


Where appropriate, PBS may condition acceptance of content on the producer’s willingness to further the goal of inclusivity by including viewpoints from which the public might draw a range of different conclusions. For instance, PBS may request that supplemental material be added, such as a new segment, an additional episode in a series of programs, or links to credible, high-quality, related resources that provide access to additional information with diverse viewpoints.

Application Examples

Guidance on how to put the principle of Inclusiveness into practice:

Include a Diversity of Voices Both in Front of and Behind the Camera

Producers should incorporate diverse perspectives as a way of making content more inclusive, accurate, and complete. To ensure that content reflects a broad range of viewpoints, producers must strive to hire, and retain, a diverse production staff. PBS believes that a diverse staff helps guard against the perpetuation of cultural stereotypes and leads to content that better serves the public as a whole. To further this objective, and to inform PBS’s decision-making, producers may be required to provide information regarding the diversity of their staff and the inclusiveness of their production practices.

RELATED >  PBS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Producing Criteria

WATCH >  Dana Roberson, executive producer of PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND, on the need to keep inclusiveness top of mind

VISIT >  NPR Diverse Sources Database

Ensure That Content Is as Accessible as Possible

Producers should plan from the earliest stages to create content that is accessible on all platforms.  This includes providing high-quality closed captions that display the audio portion of the content.  The captions must be accurate, synchronous, complete, and placed to avoid obscuring key on-screen information (such as graphics and interviewee identifiers).  Producers should also ensure that web resources are compatible with assistive technology.  In addition, producers should consider opportunities for providing alternate audio tracks with additional languages and with audio-narrated description of key visual elements in order to make the content broadly accessible.

Related Case Studies

Interactive scenarios involving the principle of Inclusiveness:

Related Articles

More in-depth exploration of the principle of Inclusiveness:

More Resources

Inclusive Language

Words matter. They can forge trust or create distance. Click below for articles and guidelines on using inclusive language in your reporting and storytelling.

Editorial Principles

More Resources